Stephanie Robbins is a prosperous Affiliate Manager with many years of online marketing experience. She is passionate about helping people to create a flexible lifestyle and she always creates win-win-win situations. Stephanie is a great specialist who helps brands incrementally grow revenue through affiliate management. She knows what she is doing. It was a pleasure to talk to her and to know more about her. I recommend everyone to invite Stephanie to join your team!
1. Stephanie, you have more than 20 years online marketing experience and 9 plus years in affiliate marketing industry. Why did you choose marketing? How did you start your affiliate manager career?
I went into marketing as a copywriter. I graduated from college with an English Literature degree. Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer. However, I changed my mind after one day of shadowing an actual lawyer. I had to look at my skill sets and passion….writing is what stood out. I quickly became passionate about marketing and the analytics that surrounded the field.
Affiliate marketing came into my life as an option for a client of mine, etnies.com. I had launched their ecommerce store. We were doing search engine marketing and email marketing. We needed more exposure. In my research, I came across affiliate marketing and fell in love immediately. It is such a great return on investment with long term relationships and a cost per acquisition format. After my first conference, Shareasale’s Think Tank, I became hooked. I loved the people and the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry.
2. What projects are you running now? How do you pick companies to work with?
I only work with companies I can authentically represent. I either have to use their products or would use them in the future. I find I am much better at what I do, if I love the product and services.
I also look for companies that complement each other. With 100% Pure, Grokker and Amoils, I can find an affiliate who wants to promote all three brands. This type of relationship gives me an opportunity to work with and educate the affiliate. Those relationships are the most profitable for me and the affiliate.
3. What niche markets do you work with? What are the most profitable?
I focus on the health and wellness niche with an emphasis on natural health. These are the most profitable because you are meeting an urgent need from your follower. The consumer has a great incentive to purchase..to feel better. I believe health and wellness are profitable because they lend themselves to content niche affiliates along with the higher conversion rates.
4. What sales channels do your affiliates use drive high quality traffic?
My most successful affiliates use organic search engine optimization to drive highly targeted traffic to the affiliate site and as a result my brands. Many affiliates are successful with Facebook ads as well but the learning curve can be steep.
My blogger affiliates maximize their social media and email channels for success as well as monetizing their evergreen already optimized posts.
5. What marketing strategies do you use for developing social media for different affiliate programs?
My top affiliates utilize multiple social media channels to reach their goal. Facebook groups are popular with my affiliates as a way to reach the followers’ feed. Twitter is also a great tool. What all my affiliates have in common is a clear call to action and solid content with added value to point the follower to.
6. Please, advise how to build new affiliate program from scratch.
Starting an affiliate program from the ground up takes strategy, work and patience. The first step is making a plan how what you want your program to look like. What niches are you wanting to approach? What is your coupon strategy? What type of affiliates will not be allowed in the program.
The next part is outreach. As an affiliate manager, the largest portion of my job is outreach. When I launch a program, the first thing I do is reach out to my existing relationships. Once the existing relationships are on board, I perform regular outreach to ensure the program is constantly growing.
7. How much should an affiliate get paid? I’m sure that you heard that question several times when launching an affiliate program from scratch.
Yes, I do get this one a lot. There are many levels to the answer. An affiliate
gets paid as much as the affiliate can generate. If an affiliate puts up one banner with minimal effort, the affiliate is not going to get paid much. However, if the affiliate creates unique content and markets that content, the sky is the limit. I have content affiliates who make between $4-$5,000 a month. However, it took time for these affiliates to develop their content and optimize their site. That is the good news and bad news about affiliate marketing….you get what you put in. And the best news is there are no limit.
8. You just returned from Affiliate Summit West. How was it? What interesting could you learn from there?
Affiliate Summit keeps getting better each year. This year, they introduced the Rev Share breakout. It is for CPA (versus CPC affiliates). I was able to represent both Grokker and 100percentpure.com at this event. It met great affiliates who were truly interested in the program.
I also did my first Ask the Expert Roundtable about blogging tools. It is an informal setting where I had between 8-10 affiliates at a time engaging and asking questions about affiliate marketing for bloggers. I presented everyone with a handout on the top blogging tools for affiliate marketing. You can check out my handout here http://robbinsinteractive.com/wp/useful-affiliate-tools-for-bloggers/
9. Is it hard to keep up with trends in affiliate marketing?
Yes, affiliate marketing is constantly changing which certainly keeps me on my toes. Attending conference such as Affiliate Summit and Affiliate Management Days are great resources for staying on top of the industry. I also love reading Feedfront and industry blogs from such as amnavigator.com, greghoffmanconsulting and affiliatetip.com. I also keep up with online marketing trends on Internet Retailer, Forbes and Fast Company. I do a lot of reading ☺
10. Can you recall any funny story from your job?
The very first conference I went to was Shareasale’s Think Tank in Newport Beach. It was the first time I had ever left my babies overnight. It was also the nicest hotel I had ever stayed at. I was so nervous about making a good impression that I forgot to eat. As a result, I ended up fainting in the middle of the event. It was incredibly embarrassing and not how I imagined making a first impression. Now I always bring snacks. So if you see me at a conference, you can count on me for an extra energy bar.
11. Do you have a hobby? What do you do to take your mind off work?
As you can tell from my niche, I am passionate about health and wellness. I practice yoga and meditation regularly. I also have two small children that do a great job keeping my mind off work. We are an active family who love to kayak, hike, bike, backpack or really do anything outdoors.